Friday, January 21, 2011
The Writer's Life with Dr. Laurie Zelinger
This book was a joint effort between my son, Jordan, and me. Jordan is a doctoral student in psychology and used his interest in neurobiology to write the pages about the sympathetic nervous system. This is his first publication and he fell into it at my request as he too, loves to work with kids. But Jordan is more of a student than an author at this point in his career, and can only accept opportunities that fit within his demanding class schedule. This venture was a diversion from the scientific papers he will be expected to write in the coming years.
As for me, I suppose I am a psychologist first, as the first seven hours of my day are spent in an elementary school and the next four or five are spent in private practice. Besides, I’ve never taken a formal course in writing books and I find it ironic that I hated to read as a child. Now as an adult, I wear many hats but throughout the day my mind often wanders to my writing, especially when I hear someone utter a cluster of words that pique my auditory attention. Yet I don’t actually sit down at my computer to record my thoughts until late at night or weekends when my real jobs have been put aside. My most productive moments are during school vacations, when I can devote the time I need to creating and writing with less interruption. I tend to need many hours at a stretch to work, so that I can warm up, read and re-read what I already have and then make changes. I have always been a slow reader and I savor words in an OCD kind of way, so that I am constantly tweaking until I’m satisfied with the product. My best sessions are those that begin early in the morning with a cup of coffee and a slew of vitamins and continue for eight or ten hours. I sit at the computer in my pajamas so that I am not derailed by errands that suddenly appear extremely attractive, whenever I hit a wall. If the words don’t flow, I get up and make a dent in the hand laundry that has been piling up, log on to my email for the 100th time that day, eavesdrop on any conversations I can be privy to, or complain to my husband about whatever I can think of. Then I sit down and try to write again. Since writing is more of a hobby for me than a vocation, I am always trying to squeeze out more time in a day to indulge. Truth be told, and please don’t repeat this, I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit fantasizing what would happen if the whole world unanimously agreed to add a 25th hour to the day...
Find out more about me and my book at the National Writing for Children Center http://www.writingforchildrencenter.com/, where the book is showcased all this month.
Follow Day 3 of our tour tomorrow at http://www.melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/. Leave a comment every day of the tour and your name will automatically be entered to win a Gift Box Bundle - filled with books and other goodies - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center http://www.writingforchildrencenter.com/.
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.